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Howto: Install a frontend on your Server with NX

This howto will explain to you how to install a frontend on your server which is accessible via NX. This tutorial is for Debian based systems, and has been tested on an Flosoft.biz FlexServ (RPS).

1. Check the basic Debian setup.
We need to modify the sources.list

vi /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following 2 lines:

deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian etch main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian etch main contrib non-free

Close and save (:wq) and run this command to update:

apt-get update

Then check if your system is up to date, and if necessary install updates.

apt-get dist-upgrade

2. Installing the X window manager xorg.
Just type in:

apt-get install xserver-xorg-core xorg

There will be a few questions at the end, for now just go with the defaults.

3. The Login Manager
Now you have 3 options. You can install any of the following Login Manager’s. Your options are:

  1. KDM - KDM is probably the best if you want to use KDE
  2. GDM - GDM is probably the best if you want to use Gnome
  3. XDM - XDM is probably the best if you want to use Fluxbox or XFCE

Once you have chosen one of the GUIs run one of the following three commands:

apt-get install kdm
apt-get install gdm
apt-get install xdm

4. The GUI
Now again, you have a choice of different Graphical User Interfaces.

  1. KDE - Personally my favourite on Debian
  2. Gnome - My favourite on Ubuntu
  3. Fluxbox - Never used it
  4. XFCE4 - Never used it

Once you have chosen one of the GUIs run one of the following three commands:

apt-get install kde
apt-get install gnome
apt-get install xfce4
apt-get install fluxbox

Thats all for the base setup.

5. Reboot
You should reboot to make sure the X server starts.

shutdown -r now

6. Create your user
Once your server has rebooted, and you have relogged in, you should create a user which you will use for the GUI.

adduser mynewusername

7. Getting the NX packages
Now we need to setup the NX server, so that you are able to connect to the server from your home. So you need to download the NX server pacakges:

wget http://64.34.161.181/download/3.1.0/Linux/nxclient_3.1.0-2_i386.deb
wget http://64.34.161.181/download/3.1.0/Linux/nxnode_3.1.0-3_i386.deb
wget http://64.34.161.181/download/3.1.0/Linux/FE/nxserver_3.1.0-2_i386.deb

8. Installing the NX packages
As you have the packages now in your directory, you need to install them via dpkg.

dpkg -i nxclient_3.1.0-2_i386.deb
dpkg -i nxnode_3.1.0-3_i386.deb
dpkg -i nxserver_3.1.0-2_i386.deb

9. The Services
Now we need to make sure the services are running.

/etc/init.d/ssh restart
/etc/init.d/nxserver restart

10. The Browser
Last, but not least… well actually least … Firefox! You will need a nice Browser, so Firefox is the way to go.

apt-get install firefox

Now you’re system is setup and you’re ready to use it. Simply setup your NX Client and have fun!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me or just leave a comment.

Florian Jensen

Florian Jensen

Traveling the world while working in tech. By day heading up the EMEA Fraud Team at Uber while hacking around on code by night.

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Howto: Install a frontend on your Server with NX
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